"Who is the greatest actor of all time?" is a question as old as time itself, and luckily, one that has also been repeatedly answered by a 6'5" Swede with piercing blue eyes and a master's degree in chemical engineering. We of course mean Dolph Lundgren, the original Punisher, the Universal Soldier, the fearless Russian boxer Ivan Drago, and the star of 2015 DTV sharks-in-lakes flick, Shark Lake.
Lundgren's 2016 is already off to a productive start, with both a cameo in the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! and a starring role in Kindergarten Cop 2 under his belt. The Expendables star, like most actors, has begun to shift his focus toward the superhero/comic book genre. Following the smash success of Deadpool, Lundgren expressed his wishes to appear in the sequel as the nefarious, techno-organic mutant Cable. While the jury's still out on that casting decision, Lundgren has booked himself a walk-on role on a DC property in the meantime.
Lundgren will be guest starring on the upcoming Arrow season 5 as "a villain in a series of flashbacks set in Russia." The news about Lundgren appearing in The CW's "Flarrowverse" was confirmed during the ongoing 2016 Television Critics Association summer press tour. Returning for Arrow season 5 are, of course, series staples Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and Emily Bett Rickards.
Obviously, the casting of Lundgren as a Russian should bring back some fond memories of his portrayal of Ivan Drago in Rocky 4. While there's no current timeline set for when we can expect to see Lundgren's character appear (or for how many episodes), Arrow co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim confirmed that season 5 will be the last year that there will be flashbacks during The CW's TCA panel (via Collider):
“We always said that Oliver had a five-year journey when he was marooned on the [island]. This year, Oliver spends his time in the flashbacks in Russia. We know from various seeds we planted back in the pilot that he knows how to speak Russian, he became a Bratva captain. Sort of the flashback story in the first half of the year is going to involve Oliver’s introduction into the Bratva.”
As for what this means for the future of Arrow, it's difficult to say. Oliver spent the vast majority of season 4 dealing with world-ending threats like nuclear warfare and will supposedly return to his street-fighting roots in season 5, so it will be interesting to see whether or not Lundgren's Russian mob boss will tie directly into this season's current-day plot or not. For Oliver Queen's sake, one hopes that it does not - for a battle with the great Dolph Lundgren will almost surely result in his brutal and untimely death.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.